Performance Appraisal

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Definitions
• Performance Appraisal
– Systematic description of job relevant
strengths and weaknesses within and
between employees and groups.
• Performance appraisal should accurately
describe job performance behavior (not
effectiveness)
Types of Evaluation Data
• Objective (Quantitative) Production
Information
– Dollar Volume of Sales
– Number of Passing Yards
• Personnel Data
– Absenteeism
– Turnover
– Accidents
• Subjective (Judgmental) Data
– Ratings of performance
Errors in Performance Ratings
• Three types of error
– Halo errors
– Leniency errors
• negative - “hard grader”
• positive - “easy grader”
– Central tendency
errors
6
4
2
6
0
4
Bad
Average
Excellent
Bad
Average
Excellent
2
0
Uses for PA Information
• Development
– Identifies training needs
– Helps employees do their jobs better
• Research
– Appraisals can serve as criteria for test
validation
– Appraisals can serve as predictors for
promotion
• Administrative
– Assigns people to the work they do best
– Maintains fairness in personnel decisions
Legal Issues
• Properties of a legally sound appraisal
system
– Barrett & Kernan (1987)
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Based on job analysis
Focuses on behaviors as opposed to traits
Evaluators are trained to use the system
Results are reviewed with employee
Appeal mechanisms are available to employees
Evaluations are documented
Poor performers receive corrective guidance
Performance Appraisal Methods
• Relative (employee) comparisons
– Order employees in terms of overall
performance
• rank order
• alteration ranking
• paired comparisons
• forced distributions
Forced Distributions
3
2
1
Po
Av or
er
ag
e
G
Ex ood
ce
lle
nt
0
d
• Employees at bottom
may not be “bad”
performers
4
Ba
• Controls leniency,
severity, and central
tendency biases
5
# of Employees
• The rater must
normally distribute
performance ratings
across employees
Forced Distributions
(Example)
Excellent
Good
Average
Poor
Bad
0
1
2
3
Number of employees
4
5
Utility of Relative Comparisons
• Advantages
– Helpful in making personnel decisions
– Effectively control:
• leniency/severity and central tendency errors
• Disadvantages
– Employees compared on a global “suitability”
criterion
– Halo error is obscured not eliminated
– Difficult to compare rankings across work
groups
Performance Appraisal Methods
• Using Absolute Standards
– Behavioral Checklists and Scales
• Critical Incidents
• Weighted Checklist
• Behavioral Observation Scale
• Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS)
Exercise: Evaluate Your Boss
• Think of your boss and the things he or she
does at work
• On a blank piece of paper, choose one or
two dimensions of work performance from
the following list:
–
–
–
–
–
Training others
Planning work for others
Assigning tasks to others
Scheduling people
Observing others’ work
Exercise: Evaluate Your Boss
• Next, for each area/dimension you have
chosen, write three sentences
– Sentence A: Give an example of very poor
performance in this area
– Sentence B: Give an example of acceptable
performance in this area
– Sentence C: Give an example of excellent
performance in this area
• Make a rating scale from 1 to 5, where 1
corresponds to sentence A, 3 to sentence B,
and 5 to sentence C
Example: Scheduling People
1 - “Often forgets to tell people when he
has made changes to the shift
schedule.”
23 - “Gives people a choice of shifts,
whenever possible.”
45 - “Plans shifts so that no one person
always ends up working the bad shift.”
Exercise: Make your rating
• Using your example statements as a guide,
make a rating of your boss on the scale you
designed.
• In actual work settings, I/O psychologists
would spend much time and effort with
workers and supervisors to make sure that:
– All of the performance areas made sense for
the job being rated
– All of the example statements fit the areas
– All of the scale values were fair
Rater Training
• Can minimize error
– leniency/severity and central tendency
• Can be used to “calibrate” ratings
– provide all raters with common points of
reference
Performance Feedback
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Identify tasks performed of the job
Develop performance standards
Train raters
Communicate frequently
Evaluate own performance first
Encourage subordinate preparation/participation
Evaluate performance (not personality)
Provide specific, behavioral, constructive criticism
Be an active listener
Set mutually agreeable goals
Make rewards contingent on performance
Evaluating Work Performance
• Suggestions
– Identify tasks performed of the job
– Develop performance standards
– Develop job-relevant evaluation system
– Train supervisors to:
• observe/evaluate performance accurately
• focus on only job-relevant issues
• deliver feedback effectively
• coach poor performers
– Study why and how rating errors happen
Conclusions
• Performance evaluation is an important issue
both for companies and for workers
• With careful design and appropriate use,
performance evaluations can support
productivity and fair allocation of rewards
• Industrial-organizational psychologists
specialize in making sure that performance
evaluations are designed correctly
Prepared by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology - SIOP © 1998
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